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Florida Atlantic Owls vs. Wisconsin Badgers†Odds - Prediction

Florida Atlantic Owls (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date and Time: Saturday, September 9 at 12pm ET
Where: Camp Randall Stadium
TV: BTN
by Evergreen, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: FAU +31/UW -31
Over/Under Total: 58

New beginnings can be hard. Sure, everyone is excited at the start of something new but in the world of college football, the shine can come off a season right away. Teams like UNLV and Baylor must be feeling pretty low right now after embarrassing upsets in week one and Florida State is all of a sudden in must-win mode after just one loss, albeit a ďgoodĒ loss. Things are very new for Florida Atlantic University this season as the mercurial Lane Kiffin takes the Owl helm. Things did not go so well in week one for Kiffin and now FAU travels to Madison to take on the Wisconsin Badgers. UW is not often a kind host and will look to extend a home winning against non-conference opponents to 39 games. The Kiffin tenure wonít be judged simply by two games but it doesnít look like FAU is due for an automatic turnaround.

After a solid opener in which many questions were at least partly answered, the Badgers have been installed as big favorites for this week with most online betting sites listing Wisconsin at -31. That is a fitting line given UW just covered a 28 point spread and enters as the eighth ranked Sagarin team with FAU at 141st according to the computers. The Sagarin predictor has this game in favor of UW by a 48-7 margin. The Owls are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games as the visitor and have just two ATS wins in their last thirteen overall. Wisconsin is riding a 4-1 ATS streak in the last five September contests. This will be the first meeting between the schools.

Florida Atlantic opened the Kiffin era with a fittingly odd game in week one. Playing Navy usually makes for an odd week of triple option prep but the game itself featured three weather delays and did not end until just after 1am, in part to FAUís decision not to wrap things up while third delay was in effect. The dozens of fans that remained until the bitter end saw the Owls on the wrong side of a 42-19 decision and many of FAUís problems were self-inflicted. The offensive consistency was missing but the Owls showed a bit of flash with a few big plays in the passing game. Daniel Parr had some nice stretches where he showed the ability to accurately deliver the ball but overall, FAU was way behind in the time-of-possession battle and ran less total plays than Navy had rushing attempts. It would be a benefit to add some consistent production to the big play potential and they will need to rush for more than 40 yards as they did against the Midshipmen. DeAndre McNeal and Willie Wright look like they can stress a defense on the outside and DeíAndre Johnson of LastChanceU fame should see more playing time to provide that dual threat option that is lacking with the pocket passing Parr.

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Wisconsin looked very average in the first quarter and half against Utah State. Wisconsin was plagued with bad field position, dropped passes and an ineffective running game to start. Things got turned around after a short touchdown drive followed by an interception that led to a game tying field goal going into half. UW snapped off a 40 yard run on the first play of the second half and never looked back on the way to a 59-10 win. Alex Hornibrook looked significantly better than he did last season, especially with his arm strength, and found three different receivers for touchdowns. Freshman Jonathan Taylor led UW with 87 rushing yards on just nine carries with Bradrick Shaw also over 80 yards including a touchdown. Two fullbacks recorded scoring plunges to make Wisconsin look like a team that knows exactly who they are and how to leverage that against the opponent.

Lane Kiffin wasnít too hard on his defense after giving up 416 rushing yards to Navy but the Owls will certainly have to do better in Madison to avoid a similar fate. Wisconsin looked a little tentative in the first half with the rush before exploding but the more troubling thing for FAU was that the Badger passing game looked good. That passing game is still pretty simple but Wisconsin is painfully difficult to defend when they can both pass and run. UW wound up with 244 passing yards and 234 rushing yards against the Aggies and it will be a tough for FAU to overload the box with a credible passing threat waiting for them show one-on-one coverages. Navy is allergic to passing so it becomes an even more difficult transition to face a two-dimensional offense.

Another issue for FAU will be a Wisconsin defense that looked very much like the top-10 versions from the last three seasons. There is no T.J. Watt and Jack Cichy is gone for the season but there were red shirts waiting for every Utah State ball carrier last week. Had UW not gifted the Aggies a short field after a botched snap, the Wisconsin defense would likely have given up just three points. T.J. Edwards is a force at linebacker for Wisconsin but it appears that UW is greater than the sum of its parts with experience at every point of the defensive depth chart. FAU was able to rack up nearly 300 passing yards last week so that Badger secondary may be asked to do a bit more than last week but they appeared up to the task against a Utah State scheme that threw a lot of looks at them. About 40 of the 219 passing yards allowed by Wisconsin came on a play where a Badger defender tipped the ball to the intended receiver.

There are few teams that come into Madison and do well, especially the first time around. I said last week that I didnít think Wisconsin was 30 points better than anyone in the NCAA but I was proven wrong to a large extent. Iím not sure how many times the Badgers have scored 59 points before but I donít think many featured a scoreless first quarter. Wisconsin is still not in the conversation with a team like Alabama but their offensive efficiency behind a proficient-looking Hornibrook makes them a contender to win the Big Ten. If you go back and review the Rose Bowl seasons for Wisconsin, you see many of the same things we saw last Friday. A diverse offense that churns out yards despite a lack of playmakers and a defense that is so team-centric that you canít spot the weaknesses. FAU has some flash and will probably be better off for having Lane Kiffin than not but I feel the Owls are going to find out why no one really likes travelling to Camp Randall. I understand the urge to take any team at +30 regardless of opponent but I think the Badgers have another game like last week. That will be too much for the Owls and this remains Wisconsinís game to lose against the spread. They will get 45 on the board with similar offensive performance and that makes FAU find a way to two touchdowns for a cover. I donít think they get with Wisconsin moving to 2-0 after a 49-12 win.

Evergreenís Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Wisconsin

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NCAA Football Week 5 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews from this week's college football card.

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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